Patricia's kalimba

Do you know what a kalimba is? The kalimba is a musical instrument from Zimbabwe which very few can play. It looks like a piano, but instead of wooden keys it has metal plates.  
Under Patricia’s fingers, the instrument comes to life and the listener quickly travels from Lom to the distant lands of Africa. The Kalimba is only one of Patricia Achkova’s many talents. In addition to the kalimba, she plays the piano and the guitar, and she’s constantly in the process of learning how to play other musical instruments by herself. 
One of her dreams is to publish a poetry book, as she writes poems too. 
Pattie, which is what her friends call her, is among the 15 scholarship holders who the Trust for Social Achievement is currently helping to graduate from high school. The Trust is helping a total of 65 high school students in through the “Equal Chance: Access to Secondary Education” program, funded by the TSA. The goal of the program ,which was started 11 years ago, is to provide equal access to education to motivated students in high school who come from underprivileged families, by covering expenses for transportation and textbooks. Around 4000 scholarships have been awarded so far. Thanks to this targeted support, over 89% of students graduate with a high school diploma, and 53% of them continue their studies in higher education, according to a study carried out by Alpha Research in 2018. 
In addition to receiving support through “Equal Chance”,  Patricia is part of the volunteer network of the “Arete” Youth Foundation. “Volunteering is a way to show that you care, a way to show that something can change for the better and most of all a way to inspire hope in the places where this little light has gone out. It is a way to give an example that inspires young people to do good and to help their communities”, she shares.  
Her biggest solace and passion is writing. Her dream – to write a poetry book in the future – is starting to blossom.  
Recently, she has started thinking of studying journalism as well. 
“Life can be a caterpillar, but it can be a butterfly too. I believe that it’s important for the media to show the positive sides of life and not accentuate only the negative aspects of being.”, says the young woman. 
Her message to Roma youth is for them not to be ashamed of who they are, but to fight for their self-development. To leave a trace behind them and in people’s hearts, and to aim to be an example for working towards a better world!